The GM-free sector is facing new challenges to keep GMOs out of the supply chain. The “Keeping GMOs out of Food” is a three year project (2014-2017) which aims to develop new practical strategies and to strengthen the current legal frameworks to protect the GMO-free food chain against GMO contamination.
Current policy situation
The current policy situation with the modification of the legislation that would grant Member States an "opt out" clause on the cultivation and imports of GMOs, and the negotiations on an EU-US Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), will likely open the door to the authorisation of new GMOs crops and will weaken the import standards we have reached at European level.
The impossible so-called "co-existence"
The competence to develop legislative approaches to avoid GM contamination lies with the Member States. However, not all EU member states have yet taken such measures. And in most countries where laws have been created to ensure a so-called "co-existence" between GM-free and GM crops, the measures are not sufficient to guarantee the protection of the conventional and organic sectors.
The impact of GMO on food sector
Socio-economic impacts of GMO cultivation have been and are the subject of several EU studies and projects. The broader impact on the food sector as well as the resulting food prices have not been taken into consideration.
In case a contamination occurs, the cost of the damage (loss of premium price, organic certification, etc.) has to be cover by someone. The burden of these costs is mostly carried by the GMO free sector.
Within the organic supply chain, many stakeholders are facing situations in which they need to find solutions by themselves since the coordination of joint strategies and knowledge sharing among GM-free stakeholder is not always possible.
For further information, contact Alejandro Gil: alejandro.gil [at] ifoam-eu.org